The COVID-19 pandemic put Leah Marie Mason in quite a funk.

An aspiring country artist who was, at the time, just beginning to find her way in an industry filled with copycats and wannabes, Mason knew the pandemic would have a detrimental effect on her road to stardom. Seemingly overnight, she found herself wading in self-doubt and uneasiness — much like the character at the core of her new song, “Hannah.”

“She feels like she's stuck in this mundane lifestyle. She can't find a lover, and she can’t find any sort of purpose,” explains Mason of the endearing protagonist of her new song, which is exclusively premiering on Taste of Country and The Boot. “I feel like everyone's been there, where you just feel like, 'What am I doing with my life right now?' But the song has a beautiful way of saying … everything's going to be okay.”

Within the lyrical storyline of "Hannah," dreamed up by Mason and fellow songwriter Bonnie Dymond, the fictional character finds herself, at the age of 26, wondering aloud if her life will end up the way she always envisioned it would. By the last verse, the titular character finds herself, years later, in the arms of her destined love — her very own happily ever after.

“There’s nothing like the comfort of knowing that someone else cares about you,” says Mason, who found TikTok fame with her song “Far Boy,” which has earned more than 13 million views on the video-based social media platform. “I think, a lot of the time, when you're stuck in that mindset, you think that no one cares. But, really, when you find that person, you find yourself believing that everything is going to be okay.”

Mason admits she was somewhat speechless when she first heard the final version of "Hannah," which she recorded over the summer. Remembers the North Carolina native, "I immediately felt like it was a true work of art ... It's my favorite recording I've ever done.”

Coincidentally, Mason herself has found that someone who cares: her boyfriend of two years. He was the first person she shared "Hannah" with after it was complete.

"Right when he heard it, he was like, ‘Leah, this is my favorite song you have ever done,'" Mason recalls with a laugh. "He's such a little angel. He says he loves every song, but he was beyond serious about this one ... Nothing really compares to having people who love and care about you reassure you that everything's going to be okay.”

“Hannah” is yet another story Mason is telling during what she hopes will be a long and successful country music career for her. She's long been inspired by artists including Kacey Musgraves and Taylor Swift, and she puts an emphasis on songs' stories when she writes and records.

“I feel like it really just like sets the stage for like me as an artist," Mason says of "Hannah," and its accompanying, free-spirited music video does the same.

“It's like I'm telling a story,” says Mason, who filmed the clip at a rented cabin just outside of Nashville, wearing a flowy dress she had just bought earlier in the day. “It's like you're with me inside my head ... I want everyone who listens to this song and watches this video to feel like they are me and they're with me in this story.”

If that story turns out the way Mason hopes it will, it will some day include time on the stage of some of the biggest award shows.

“I know some people might laugh at me, but I really don't care what other people think at this point,” the artist says with a carefree laugh. “I want to be at the Grammy Awards; I want to see my name on the nominees for CMA Awards. Like, why not set the bar as high as you can? I'm definitely a dream-chaser, that’s for sure.”

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